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John Rogers

John Rogers, A. M.—This excellent divine was educated in the university of Cambridge, and was many years the famous minister of Dedham in Essex. He was a near relation of Mr. Richard Rogers of Wethersfield, who encouraged him in his studies, and supported him at the university. He was at first so addicted to vice, that while he was at Cambridge, he sold his books and spent the money. Notwithstanding this base ingratitude, his kinsman procured him a fresh stock of books, and sent him again to Cambridge; but still continuing a profligate, he sold his books, and spent the money as before. Having wasted his substance a second time, Mr. Rogers determined to cast him off totally; but, by the persuasions of his wife, he was at length induced to make another trial. 'He therefore procured him books, and sent him to the university a third time; and, the grace of God changing his heart, he became an illustrious ornament to his college, and a man of most exemplary piety. Afterwards, Mr. Richard Rogers, seeing what the Lord had done for his kinsman, used to say, " I will never despair of any man, for John Rogers's sake."+

Mr. Rogers became vicar of Hcminghnm in Norfolk, in the year 1592. f Having continued some time in this situation, he became minister of Havcrhil in Suffolk, where he succeeded Mr. Lawrence Fairclougb,^ in 1603. After

• Mather1! Hlit. of New Ed;, b. ill. p. 77.
t Firmln's Real CkrlitlM, p. 76. Edit. 1670.
1 Blomefleld's f lilt, or Norfolk, vol. i. p. 6S8.

S Thli wai the father of the excellent Mr. Samael Falrdough, the ejected nonconformlit. Henai a learned aad able divine,and a solid,eloquent, and nieful preacher. He died in the year 1603. By preaching a thanksgiving

wards he removed to Dedham, where he continued the rest of Ms days. He was a grave and judicious divine. His great gilt lay in the delivery of the solid truth which he had prepared with a peculiar gesture and elocution, so that few heard him without trembling at the word of God.* He was a most popular and useful preacher. God was pleased to own and bless his labours above most others, especially in awakening careless sinners. He was indeed one of the most awakening preachers of the age. Bishop Brownrigg used to say, " John Rogers will do more good with his wild votes, than we (the bishops) with our set music."* His congregation, on lecture days, was collected from all the country roundabout; and his church was not only thronged,but numerously surrounded by such as could not gain admittance, t

Mr. Rogers was a thorough puritan, yet of a most humble and peaceable behaviour. He loved all who loved Christ, and was greatly beloved by them. But in the year 1629, for refusing conformity to the superstitious and tyrannical impositions of Bishop Laud, his lecture was suppressed.-, This was a great affliction to holy Mr. Rogers; who, concerning those impositions, used to say, " Let them take me and hang me up by the neck, if they will but remove those stumbling-blocks out of the church."|| It does not appear whether he was ever restored to his lecture. He died October 13, 1636.1 Mr. John Knowlcs, afterwards silenced in 166*2, closed his eyes and preached his funeral sermon.** Mr. Matthew Newcomen, one of the ejected nonconformists in 1662, succeeded Mr. Rogers in his ministry at Dedham. t+

It is related of Mr. Giles Firmin, who also was one of the ejected nonconformists, that he was converted when a boy at school, by the ministry of Mr. Rogers. He went late to hear his lecture, and crowded to get into the church. Mr. Rogers, observing young Firmin's great earnestness,

sermon to a very crowded audience In flavcrhil church, on the accession of King James, he caught a violent cold, which occasioned his death the following day.—Clark'i Lives, last vol. p, 154.—Meen'$ MS. Collte. p. 86J.

* Calnmy'i Account, Vo1. II. p. 894.

t Mather's Hist, of New Kng. b. III. p. 108.

1 Granger's Mog. Hist. vol. il. p. 101.

S 1'rynne's Cant. Doomc, p. S1.1.

I Mather's New England, b. ill. p. US.

1 linker's MS. Collcc. vol. iixvlll. p. 415.

•• Palmer's Noncon. Mem. vol. 111. p. 114.

tt Ibid. vol. U. p. 196.

with that of some other youths, to obtain room, in his usual freedom and solemnity cried out, " Here are some young, ones come for Christ. Will nothing serve you but you must have Christ? Then you shall have him;" and so proceeded in his discourse. This made so deep and lasting an impression on his mind, that he thence dated his conversion.*

Mr. Rogers was author of several excellent pieces. His method, as a writer, is popular, bis language familiar, yet often energetic, and his strain evangelical, animated, and experimental.t

His Works.—1. The Doctrine of Faith, 1627.—2. An Exposition upon the First Epistle of Peter, 1659.—3. A Treatise of Love.— 4. Sixty Memorials of a godly Life.